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Johnny Tjupurula Warangkula Sold at Auction Prices

Painter, b. 1925 - d. 2001

Johnny Warangkula Tjupurula was born in 1925 at Minjilpirri, an area north west of Illipili and south of Lake Mackay. Close by is his major dreaming site Tjilkari. The son of mixed parents, his mother was of Luritja/ Warlpiri/Pintupi descent and his father Luritja/Warlpiri. Johnny was raised in a traditional manner, living an orthodox life style in the desert and never attending European schools. He is of the Luritja language group and was initiated into manhood and learned his dreamings during his family's stay at a mission in Hermannsburg.

Johnny can recollect his first contact with Europeans, remembering his fearful response when witnessing an aircraft fly over his land as a young boy. His people believed the airplane to be a 'marnu' or devil. At a later date, his people came into contact with camels for the first time and again hid in fright as they recognised the beasts as being evil.

His painting career began after a long turn at laboring, his efforts contributing to the developments of roads, airstrips and settlements in areas such as: Haasta Bluff, Mt Leibig, Yuendumu and Mt Wedge. In return for his work building roads, shoveling dirt and felling trees he was remunerated in the form of consumable goods, 'tucker' (as he calls it) flour, tea, sugar, fresh vegetables and tobacco.

All of that is a far cry from the sophisticated auction rooms of Sotheby's in Melbourne where, in July 1997, his painting 'Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa' changed hands for a record $206,000. When he sold the painting at Papunya 25 years previously he received just $150 and remembers this only in terms of the food which it bought at the time.

Interviewed in 1997, Johnny claimed; 'I come from the bush. We don't know money'. From partial obscurity, 'Johnny W', as he is affectionately known, became a figure to be reckoned with in the history of Australian art. Well before that time, however, the National Gallery of Australia had recognised his position in the scheme of Aboriginal art. In 1984, James Mollison, Director of the gallery claimed that their painting by Johnny W (the gallery's first purchase of a western desert painting) was 'the finest abstract art ever produced in this country'. .

Johnny Warangkula Tjuppurulla's painting career began after a long turn at labouring, his efforts contributing to the development of roads, airstrips and settlements in areas such as Haasts Bluff, Mt Leibig, Yuendumu and Mt Wedge. In return for his work building roads, shoveling dirt and felling trees he was remunerated in the form of consumable goods, 'tucker' (as he calls it) - flour, tea, sugar, fresh vegetables and tobacco.


Before the bulk of the Haasts Bluff population was moved to Papunya in 1960, Johnny was selected along with Nosepeg Tjupurullaas Aboriginal representative to meet the Queen. After settling in Papunya Johnny served on the Papunya Council with Mick Namarari (qv), Limpi Tjapangati and Kingsley Tjungarrayi.

Geoffrey Bardon's arrival at Papunya inspired the community to begin using western art materials. Johnny rapidly developed a distinctive style of his own which came to be known as 'overdotting'. He uses several layers of dots to depict his dreamings, which consist of Water, Fire, Yam and Egret stories. There are also stories from Nyilppi and Nyalpilala which are his father's Dreamings. Geoffrey Bardon labeled this stylistic layering effect as 'tremulous illusion' and in his book, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert. Bardon fondly recollects images of Johnny painting with an "intense level of intuitive concentration".

From the very beginning at Papunya, Johnny has always adhered to the idea that his paintings are stories - Aboriginal stories. He has never allowed any infiltration of European influence and rarely uses literal depictions of objects. Geoff Bardon advised the 'painting mob', of which Johnny was an important member, to paint in an Aboriginal way using Aboriginal signs and symbols that one might have found in body paint, tjuringa or sand paintings. Because of this 'purity' his works retain an integrity which places them amongst the most significant productions from the seminal art site that was Papunya.

Bardon pointed out that Johnny's paintings, 'can be measured on a scale of modern aesthetic'. And as if to qualify that remark, Bardon further offered the idea that the artist used, 'calligraphic line with almost Baroque excitement'. A very insightful observation which holds true in 1999, particularly in regards to the very 'late' and hugely energetic works of this period. One of the great characteristics of the Baroque style, dominant in the seventeenth century, was the energy, rhythm and theatricality with which stories (usually Christian stories) were told. Johnny's style was described this way: Tight organization of bands and lines, hatching and dot embellishment give his work a powerful, energetic visual strength. He uses convoluted spiral symbols for people, and animal tracks and distorted figures as illustrations of ceremony not in a formal way but intuitively.

In early 1997, Michael Hollow made a great effort to revive Johnny's painting career and commissioned him to do a series of small works. From this series Johnny began a new phase in his distinguished painting career and developed this new direction with other galleries and dealers over the next few years. This series, perhaps his final one due to failing health, includes a range of small to very large dynamic, powerful paintings in pure red, blacks with white, yellow and ochre highlights. Each of the works features the established imagery of Johnny's Dreamings overpainted to hide the secret and sacred elements. These works have evolved slowly over an eighteen month period during which time the artist has displayed once more his mastery of this unique form of art and storytelling. These important late works are made despite failing eyesight and poor health.

It may seem ludicrous to draw parallels between this Aboriginal painting master and Monet in their corresponding last years. However one cannot help noticing those similarities. Further, Johnny's technique and brushwork bear an eerie resemblance to the techniques invented and employed by Monet in his late waterlilly paintings at Giverny. This may only prove that the mark-making we call art is a basic expression of the human spirit as one mind strives to communicate with another in visual terms. The Frenchman Monet was inspired by his Japanese watergarden - Warangkula by his birthright - his ancient dreamings.

From 1999 Johnny painted with a new-found freedom, both in expression and in painting technique. Where he was once known for his delicate and soft white dotting, he attacked the canvas to tell the story with great gusto. He jabbed large dots on to the surface and produced roundels and symbols for weapons with great sweeps of his arm and the brush. Red, black, white.

Had he painted in France during the 1950s he would have been labeled a 'Taschist'. The audience who saw his paintings at the United Nations Building seemed generally to agree that Johnny was indeed a significant artist who in some sense retained an authenticity and timeless importance in his work that some of the younger painters were yet to achieve. All great painters, past and present, seem to have an additional level in their work which may defy description. This evasive quality is sometimes born of the synthesis achieved between colour, form, texture and meaning. When viewing paintings by Johnny Warangkula Tjupurulla we find ourselves in a position where the recognition of another elemental level is tantalisingly close and for a lucky few the spirit is moved beyond words. In the presence of great visual art, the employment of everyday language can become a futile and unproductive gesture.



Major collections:

Holmes a Court Queensland Art Gallery
National Gallery of Victoria
rt Gallery of Western Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia
National Museum of Australia Canberra, National Gallery of Australia Canberra
Orange Regional Gallery
Alice Springs Law Courts, Museum
Art Gallery of the Northern Territory Darwin
Flinders University Art Museum, South Australian Museum
Art Gallery of NSW



Selected exhibitions:
1981: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1982: Georges Gallery, Melbourne
1982: Brisbane Festival
1982: London, England
1988: Wagga Wagga City Art Gallery
1989: 'Mythscapes', National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne
1989: Westpac Gallery, Melbourne
1989: Australian National Gallery, Canberra
1991: Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA;
1993: Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1999: Flinders Art Museum Flinders University, Adelaide
1999: 'Tjinytjilpa', Embassy of Australia, Washington, USA;
1999: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco , USA
2001: 'Icons of Australian Aboriginal Art,' Singapore.
2011: 'Origins of Western Desert Art: Tjukurrtjanu', The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victory, Melbourne

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      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Women and Old Man at Kampurarpa (1973) synthetic polymer paint on composition board 91.5 x
        Apr. 17, 2024

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Women and Old Man at Kampurarpa (1973) synthetic polymer paint on composition board 91.5 x

        Est: $30,000 - $50,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Women and Old Man at Kampurarpa (1973) synthetic polymer paint on composition board 91.5 x 12.5 cm PROVENANCE Painted at Papunya, Northern Territory Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, Alice Springs (stock JW 730821) Private Collection, Melbourne

        Smith & Singer
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Yalpiri Water Story (1973) synthetic polymer paint on composition board 75 x 55 cm
        Apr. 17, 2024

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Yalpiri Water Story (1973) synthetic polymer paint on composition board 75 x 55 cm

        Est: $60,000 - $80,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Yalpiri Water Story (1973) synthetic polymer paint on composition board 75 x 55 cm PROVENANCE Painted at Papunya, Northern Territory Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, Alice Springs (stock JW 735902) Private Collection, Melbourne

        Smith & Singer
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA, (c1925 - 2001), Untitled, 1999, acrylic on linen (ready to hang), 91 x 61 x 2 cm. (35.8 x 24.0 x 0.7 in.)
        Mar. 24, 2024

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA, (c1925 - 2001), Untitled, 1999, acrylic on linen (ready to hang), 91 x 61 x 2 cm. (35.8 x 24.0 x 0.7 in.)

        Est: $1,500 - $2,500

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c1925 - 2001) Untitled, 1999 acrylic on linen (ready to hang) cat no. 3W099806 inscribed verso

        Lawsons
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Kalipinpa Water Dreaming 1998
        Feb. 13, 2024

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Kalipinpa Water Dreaming 1998

        Est: $1,000 - $2,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Kalipinpa Water Dreaming 1998 synthetic polymer paint on canvas board inscribed verso: Johnny Warrangkula / Kalipinpa Water Dreaming / JW8698349 / AK14062 50.5 x 61cm PROVENANCE Papunya Tjupi Arts / Warumpi Arts, Alice Springs Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne (label verso) Private Collection, Melbourne © Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula/Copyright Agency, 2024

        Gibson's
      • Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - Kalipyinpa, 1978
        Nov. 08, 2023

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - Kalipyinpa, 1978

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        Kalipinypa is a Water Dreaming site some 500 km north west of Alice Springs. During creation, a great storm. erupted at this place. Whirlwinds lifted the dust in spirals. Heavy rain fell and there was much lightning. The downpour was so heavy that the water flowed along the ground, lifting leaves, logs and other debris. A very deep and permanent rock hole was formed.

        Cooee Art
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled 1997
        Oct. 29, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled 1997

        Est: $5,000 - $8,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Untitled 1997 synthetic polymer paint on canvas inscribed verso: JW-033 115 x 194.5cm PROVENANCE Acquired from the Artist in 1997 by Phillip Gray Private Collection, Melbourne © Johnny Warangkula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's
      • TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on Linen, 92x61cm
        Aug. 20, 2023

        TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on Linen, 92x61cm

        Est: $600 - $1,000

        TJUPURRULA, Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001) Untitled Inscribed with artist's name verso and cat #JW099806. Acrylic on Linen 92x61cm PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney.

        Davidson Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (1925 AUSTRALIEN - 2001 PAPUNYA), 'BUNGALUNG MEN, TJIKATTI FIRE DREAMING', UM 1997
        Jun. 29, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (1925 AUSTRALIEN - 2001 PAPUNYA), 'BUNGALUNG MEN, TJIKATTI FIRE DREAMING', UM 1997

        Est: €1,500 - €2,500

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula (1925 Australien - 2001 Papunya), 'Bungalung Men, Tjikatti Fire Dreaming', um 1997, Acrylic on canvas. 118.3 x 204.5 cm (image). Inscribed and titled (acrylic) on the right margin. The painting is not mounted on a stretcher, rolled up.,

        Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled
        Jun. 28, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled

        Est: $300 - $500

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Untitled synthetic polymer paint on canvas inscribed with cat no. verso: JW199965 55.5 x 91cm PROVENANCE Yanda Arts, Alice Springs © Johnny Warangkula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled
        Jun. 28, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled

        Est: $400 - $600

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Untitled synthetic polymer paint on canvas inscribed with cat no. verso: Yanda Art / JW98109 46 x 110.5cm PROVENANCE Yanda Arts, Alice Springs © Johnny Warangkula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled
        Jun. 28, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled

        Est: $500 - $800

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Untitled synthetic polymer paint on canvas inscribed with cat no. verso: Johnnie Warangkula / JW99H3 45.5 x 153cm PROVENANCE Yanda Arts, Alice Springs © Johnny Warangkula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled
        Jun. 28, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled

        Est: $500 - $800

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Untitled synthetic polymer paint on canvas inscribed with cat no. verso: JW98102 61 x 91cm PROVENANCE Yanda Arts, Alice Springs © Johnny Warangkula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's Auctions
      • Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - Pitjarra, 1979
        Jun. 20, 2023

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - Pitjarra, 1979

        Est: $10,000 - $15,000

        Johnny Warangkula was born at Mintjilpirri, north west of the Kangaroo Dreaming site of Ilpili soakage. He first encountered ‘whitefellas’ at just 12 years of age, and moved to Papunya with his first wife in the early 1960s, shortly after the community's establishment. By the time Geoff Bardon arrived in 1971, he was a member of the Papunya Council alongside Mick Namarari. The focus of this work relates to plant ancestors which share many human and plant characteristics, and their reproductive activity and growth is often compared with that of a family or clan. During the creation period, a Pitjarra ancestor travelled west through the Ehrenberg Ranges to Muntunga in the plain’s country north-west of Alice Springs. Pitjarra, is a large vegetable that can grow prolifically in some areas, and is a key source of moisture for nomadic people during dry periods. In this painting, the concentric circles indicate the parent plants at Muntunga while the sinuous lines represent the growth of the roots. The painting can be seen as a conceptual map of how the plants occur in nature, as well as the actual plant ancestors during the Dreaming. The black background dots symbolise the seeds of the Pitjarra plant while the other coloured areas represent the country in the vicinity of Muntunga.

        Cooee Art
      • Water and Bush Tucker Story
        May. 23, 2023

        Water and Bush Tucker Story

        Est: $400,000 - $600,000

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula circa 1932-2001 Water and Bush Tucker Story, 1972  Bears the Stuart Art Centre label (distressed) with catalogue number 1272149 on the reverse of frame Synthetic polymer paint on composition board 25 ¾ in x 18 ⅛ (65.5 cm x 46 cm)

        Sotheby's
      • Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, (c. 1925-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on linen
        May. 22, 2023

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, (c. 1925-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on linen

        Est: $2,000 - $4,000

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula c. 1925-2001 Untitled Acrylic on linen

        Theodore Bruce
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Kalipinpa Water Dreaming 1998
        Apr. 16, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Kalipinpa Water Dreaming 1998

        Est: $2,000 - $4,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Kalipinpa Water Dreaming 1998 synthetic polymer paint on canvas board inscribed verso: Johnny Warrangkula / Kalipinpa Water Dreaming / JW8698349 / AK14062 50.5 x 61cm PROVENANCE Papunya Tjupi Arts / Warumpi Arts, Alice Springs Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne (label verso) Private Collection, Melbourne © Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled 1997
        Apr. 16, 2023

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001), Untitled 1997

        Est: $5,000 - $8,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1925-2001) Untitled 1997 synthetic polymer paint on canvas inscribed verso: JW-033 115 x 194.5cm PROVENANCE Acquired from the Artist in 1997 by Phillip Gray Private Collection, Melbourne © Johnny Warangkula/Copyright Agency, 2023

        Gibson's Auctions
      • TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on Linen, 92x61cm
        Mar. 19, 2023

        TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on Linen, 92x61cm

        Est: $1,000 - $2,000

        TJUPURRULA, Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001) Untitled Inscribed with artist's name verso and cat #JW099806. Acrylic on Linen 92x61cm PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney.

        Davidson Auctions
      • TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on Linen, 92x61cm
        Dec. 04, 2022

        TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001), Untitled, Acrylic on Linen, 92x61cm

        Est: $1,500 - $2,500

        TJUPURRULA, Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal c.1921-2001) Untitled Inscribed with artist's name verso and cat #JW099806. Acrylic on Linen 92x61cm PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney.

        Davidson Auctions
      • Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - Three Spider Dreaming, 1974
        Oct. 11, 2022

        Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - Three Spider Dreaming, 1974

        Est: $10,000 - $15,000

        Johnny Warangkula was born at Mintjilpirri, north west of the Kangaroo Dreaming site of Ilpili soakage. He first encountered ‘whitefellas’ at just 12 years of age, and moved to Papunya with his first wife in the early 1960s, shortly after the community's establishment. By the time Geoff Bardon arrived in 1971, he was a member of the Papunya Council alongside Mick Namarari. Warangkula was amongst the most inventive of the early Papunya artists. His works at the time, according to Bardon, were distinguished by his ’calligraphic line and smearing brushwork' that traced the movements of a journey, and picked up on the rhythmic recall of a mythic narrative. During his first 15 years as a painter, he was foremost amongst those who fundamentally shaped the Papunya art movement. Choosing to keep within the hues of traditional earth-based ochres, Warangkula achieved a startlingly powerful statement of the earth, his country, and the life within it in his early paintings. The Spider Dreaming west of Central Mt. Wedge and north east of Sandy Blight Junction is associated with Water Dreaming and Rain at Kalipinypa, a recurrent theme in Warangkula’s work. Spiders come out after rain to hunt for food. Central circles are spider holes, radiating lines are tracks made by the spiders. According to anthropologist Dick Kimber 'The central circles mark nguru (the “sit-down place”) of the spider. At night these spiders can be heard; they make a noise like a calf cut off short on bellowing. (Kimber, 1976: 27)

        Cooee Art
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) A Suite of Paintings Depicting the Sites of Kalipinypa and Tjika...
        Aug. 22, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) A Suite of Paintings Depicting the Sites of Kalipinypa and Tjika...

        Est: $30,000 - $40,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) A Suite of Paintings Depicting the Sites of Kalipinypa and Tjikari 1994-95 synthetic polymer paint on linen (21) each inscribed verso with artist's name and respective Papunya Tula Artists cat. no. 138 x 266cm (overall) 46 x 38cm (each) PROVENANCE: Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs The Estate of Ken Hutchison, Melbourne OTHER NOTES: Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula rapidly distinguished himself as one of the most respected and influential artists of the Papunya Tula movement. Born in the Western Desert at Minjilpirri, a station northwest of Illipili and south of Lake Mackay, Tjupurrula relocated with his family to Haasts Bluff early in his life in response to the devastating droughts. He eventually settled permanently in Papunya Tula, a newly established government settlement 200km east of Haasts Bluff. In 1994, Tjupurrula commenced a series of paintings depicting ancestral stories connected to the sites of Kalipinypa and Tjikari, both of which are positioned northeast of Sandy Blight junction and some 400km west of Alice Springs. The narrative that forms the basis of this piece and many other works from his career, concerns Winpa, the Lightning Boss, who sang up a huge storm from Kalipinya. Dark clouds formed, thunder cracked, hail pelted down and torrential rain scoured the earth. Winpa sang and stamped out the verses that Tjupurrula learned as a young man. Winpa propelled the storm eastward, creating a series of water holes, which now marks the path of his song line. (1) Observed from the centre outwards, the eye of the storm stands prominent in this piece, paying homage to the iconography from the story of Winpa and other ancestral elements from Tjupurrula's country. This work depicting the sites of Kalipinypa and Tjikari are characterised by twenty-one small canvases, all individually completed creating an atmospheric effect of a storm unfolding, alluding to the landscape where his ancestral story of Winpa occurs. Tjupurrula uses rich washes of paint applied directly onto the wet canvas, enabling the pigments to appear as though they have engrained themselves into the surface. Upon this earthy texture, dark winding lines, strokes and circles create movement and a energy behind each veil of dotted clusters or 'tremulous illusions' as referred to by Geoffrey Bardon. In works such as this and many from his career as an artist, Tjupurrula creates an intense pictorial surface evoking a sense of mystery, consistent with use of dotting across most early Papunya Tula works. Lucy Foster | Senior Art Specialist (1) Kean, J., Johnny Warankula Tjupurrula: Painting in a changing landscape NGV, ngv.vic.gov.au, retrieved 12 July 2022

        Leonard Joel
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) Tjikari 1997 synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard
        Aug. 22, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) Tjikari 1997 synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard

        Est: $1,000 - $2,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) Tjikari 1997 synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard inscribed verso with artist's name, title, date, Papunya Tula Artists cat. no. JW297126 and stamp 50.5 x 60.5cm PROVENANCE: Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs Private collection, Melbourne

        Leonard Joel
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) i. Untitled 1997 ii. Bungalong Man synthetic polymer paint on ca...
        Aug. 22, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) i. Untitled 1997 ii. Bungalong Man synthetic polymer paint on ca...

        Est: $2,000 - $4,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) i. Untitled 1997 ii. Bungalong Man synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard each inscribed verso with artist's name and Papunya Tula Artists cat. no. and stamp 50.5 x 60.5cm each PROVENANCE: Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs Private collection, Melbourne

        Leonard Joel
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) i. Fight With Mala People 1997 ii. Bungalong Man 1997 iii. Rain...
        Aug. 22, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) i. Fight With Mala People 1997 ii. Bungalong Man 1997 iii. Rain...

        Est: $3,000 - $5,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) (Pintupi Language Group) i. Fight With Mala People 1997 ii. Bungalong Man 1997 iii. Rain and Hail at Kalipinpa 1997 synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard each inscribed verso with artist's name, title, Papunya Tula Artists cat. no. and stamp 50.5 x 60.5cm each PROVENANCE: Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs Private collection, Melbourne

        Leonard Joel
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIAN, 1925-2001)
        May. 14, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIAN, 1925-2001)

        Est: $6,000 - $8,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIAN, 1925-2001) Water Dreaming Synthetic polymer on an irregularly shaped board, 1972. Abstract composition in traditional style, mounted to a fabric mat within wooden frame. Label for Stuart Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T. with title and a variant of the artist's name, Johnny Warangula. Adhered to verso is a pocket with extant postcard written and post dated 1972 from the purchasing family while in Queenstown, Australia. Provenance: private St. Louis collection. Other spellings include Johnny Warrangula Tjupurrula and Johnny Warangkula Tjupurula. About the Artist: Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula was born in 1925 at Minjilpirri, an area north west of Illipili and south of Lake Mackay. The son of mixed parents, his mother being of Luritja/Warlpiri/Pintupi descent and his father Luritja / Warlpiri, Johnny was raised in a traditional manner, living a traditional life style in the desert and never attending European schools. Johnny is of the Luritja language group and was initiated into manhood during his family's stay at a mission in Hermannsburg. Johnny could recollect his first contact with Europeans, remembering his fearful response when witnessing an aircraft fly over his home lands as a young boy. His people believed the airplane to be a "mamu" or devil. At a later date, his people came into contact with camels for the first time and again hid in fright as they recognized the beasts as being evil. His painting career began after a long turn at laboring, his efforts contributing to the development of roads, airstrips and settlements in areas such as: Haasts Bluff, Mt Leibig, Yuendumu and Mt Wedge. In return for his work building roads, shoveling dirt and felling trees he was remunerated in the form of consumable goods, "tucker" (as he calls it) - flour, tea, sugar, fresh vegetables and tobacco. All of that is a far cry from the sophisticated auction rooms of Sotheby's where, in June 26, 2020 his painting from 1972 "Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa" changed hands for a record $251,500. When he sold the same painting at Papunya years earlier he received just $150 and remembers this only in terms of the food which it bought at the time. Before the Haasts Bluff population were moved to Papunya in 1960, Johnny was selected along with Nosepeg Tjuppurrula as Aboriginal representative to meet the Queen. After settling in Papunya Johnny served on the Papunya Council with Mick Namarari, Limpi Tjapangati and Kingsley Tjungarrayi. Geoffrey Bardon's arrival at Papunya inspired the community to begin using art materials, Johnny rapidly developed a distinctive style of his own which came to be known as "overdotting". He uses several layers of dots to depict his dreamings, which consist of Water, Fire, Yam and Egret stories. Also stories from Nyilppi and Nyalpilala - which are his father's Dreamings. Geoffrey Bardon labelled this stylistic layering effect as "tremulous illusion" and in his book, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert, Bardon fondly recollects images of Johnny painting with an intense level of intuitive concentration. As Johnny's paintings are strictly Aboriginal stories without conscious European influence, they remain of major significance. Despite their distinct Aboriginality they can still be measured on a scale of modern aesthetic. He used calligraphic line with almost baroque excitement. Tight organization of bands and lines, hatching and dot embellishment give his work a powerful, energetic visual strength. He uses convoluted spiral symbols for people, animal tracks and distorted figures as illustrations of ceremony. During the 1980's Johnny became a major force in the Papunya movement, receiving great critical acclaim for his contribution to the recognition of Papunya artists as a mirror for the identification of indigenous culture. In 1984 the director of the National Gallery of Australia, James Mollison, was photographed along side one of Johnny's works stating that the work of the Papunya artists was "the finest abstract art ever produced in this country". From 1997 - 1999 Johnny painted this story with a new-found freedom, both in expression and in painting technique. Where he was once known for his delicate and soft white dotting, he now attacked the canvas to tell the story with great gusto. Had he painted in France during the 1950's he would have been labelled a Taschist. Johnny is a significant artist who retained an authenticity and timeless importance in his work that some of the younger painters are yet to achieve. All great painters, past and present, seem to have an additional level in their work which may defy description. This evasive quality is sometimes born of the synthesis achieved between colour, form, texture and meaning. When viewing paintings by Johnny Warangkula Jupurulla we find ourselves in a position where the recognition of another elemental level is tantalisingly close and for a lucky few the spirit is moved beyond words. In the presence of great visual art, language can become a futile and unproductive gesture. Johnny's paintings have been exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas. These exhibitions include: 1981 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; 1982 Georges Gallery, Melbourne; 1982 Brisbane Festival; 1982 London, England; 1988 Wagga Wagga City Art Gallery; 1989 "Mythscapes", National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; 1989 Westpac Gallery, Melbourne; 1989 Australian National Gallery, Canberra; 1991 Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA; 1993 Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; 1999 Flinders Art Museum Flinders University, Adelaide; 1999 "Tjinytjilpa", Embassy of Australia, Washington, USA; 1999 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco , USA; 2001 Icons of Australian Aboriginal Art, and Singapore. Board: 19.75" height, 16.5" width; frame: 28.25" height, 24.75' width

        Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari"
        Apr. 18, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari"

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari" Acrylic on Linen. Painted in 1999. Provenance: Private collection, USA. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 128cm x 128cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) Painted Parrying Shield c.1978 synthetic polymer paint on carved beanwood
        Apr. 11, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) Painted Parrying Shield c.1978 synthetic polymer paint on carved beanwood

        Est: $1,200 - $1,800

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (c.1920-2001) Painted Parrying Shield c.1978 synthetic polymer paint on carved beanwood 87 x 8.5cm PROVENANCE: Created in Papunya, Northern Territory c.1978 Collected by a missionary worker in Alice Springs, c.1978-80 James R. Lawson Pty. Ltd., Tribal Art Sale, Sydney, 22 February 1999 The Collection of Mr. Kelton, United States of America EXHIBITIONS: G'Day LA: Australia Week, in partnership with the Australian Consulate Los Angeles, Pacific Design Centre, West Hollywood, California, 15-25 January 2004 Dreaming in Color: Aboriginal Art from Balgo, The Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, California, 29 April - 12 August 2007

        Leonard Joel
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari"
        Feb. 06, 2022

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari"

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari" Acrylic on Linen. Painted in 1999. Provenance: Private collection, USA. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 128cm x 128cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Women's Camp (1973) synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard
        Nov. 16, 2021

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Women's Camp (1973) synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard

        Est: $30,000 - $40,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA circa 1925-2001 Women's Camp (1973) synthetic polymer paint on canvasboard 71 x 55.7 cm PROVENANCE Painted at Papunya, Northern Territory Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, Alice Springs (stock JW 731183) Private Collection, Northern Territory Private Collection, New South Wales

        Smith & Singer
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Two Snakes"
        Jul. 04, 2021

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Two Snakes"

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Two Snakes" Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1998 for Jinta Art. Comes with 9 working photos & Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 152cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal 1921-2001), 'Fire Dreaming at Tjikari,' 1998., Acrylic on Linen, 213x122.5cm
        May. 16, 2021

        TJUPURRULA Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal 1921-2001), 'Fire Dreaming at Tjikari,' 1998., Acrylic on Linen, 213x122.5cm

        Est: $2,000 - $4,000

        TJUPURRULA, Johnny Warangkula (Aboriginal 1921-2001) 'Fire Dreaming at Tjikari,' 1998. Cat #JW 98700-I-C Acrylic on Linen 213x122.5cm PROVENANCE: Painted in Alice Springs in July 1998, commissioned by Peter Los. Copy of commission document attached.

        Davidson Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA, DINGO DREAMING, 1973
        Mar. 17, 2021

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA, DINGO DREAMING, 1973

        Est: $25,000 - $35,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (1932 – 2001) DINGO DREAMING, 1973 synthetic polymer paint on composition board 78.5 x 61.5 cm bears inscription on label verso: artist’s name, title, language group, a description of the story depicted in Peter Fannin’s hand and Papunya Tula Artists cat. JW 731068 PROVENANCE Painted at Papunya, Northern Territory Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs (cat. JW731068) Private collection, New South Wales Bonhams, Sydney, 16 June 2015, lot 73 Private collection, Sydney This work is accompanied by an annotated cataloguing card from Papunya Tula Artists in the hand of Peter Fannin which states: ‘The dingo was important to the Aboriginal people both as a pet (young ones) and a hunting dog (sometimes they kill the kangaroo). It is not surprising then, that the dingo pupping season gives us a series of dingo stories.’ © Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula/Copyright Agency, 2021

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • Johnny Warnangkula Tjupurrula - Women's Dreaming , 1975
        Oct. 20, 2020

        Johnny Warnangkula Tjupurrula - Women's Dreaming , 1975

        Est: $3,000 - $5,000

        Johnny Warangkula was born at Mintjilpirri, north west of the Kangaroo Dreaming site of Ilpili soakage. He first encountered ‘white fellas’ at just 12 years of age. He moved to Papunya with his first wife, in the early 1960s, shortly after its establishment, and by the time Geoff Bardon arrived in 1971, he was a member of the Papunya Council alongside Mick Namarari. Warangkula was amongst the most inventive of the early Papunya artists. His 'calligraphic line and smearing brushwork'*, gave a relative solidity to the features of the land, or traced the movements of a journey, picking up on the rhythmic recall of a mythic narrative. Bands of hatching or parallel lines provided visual texture, often interspersed with animal tracks or symbolic figures woven in to tightly synchronised compositions that still resound with freshness and surprising spontaneity. Choosing to keep within the hues of traditional earth based ochres, he achieved in his early paintings a startlingly powerful statement of the earth, his country and the life within it During his first 15 years as a painter he was foremost amongst those who fundamentally shaped the Papunya art movement, and he went on to sustain a 30-year career as a painter. * G. Bardon

        Cooee Art
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa"
        Sep. 27, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa"

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa" Acrylic on linen. Provenance: Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 94cm x 152cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari"
        Aug. 23, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari"

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari" Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1999 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 182cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA)
        Aug. 23, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA)

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Malang kat julpari" Acrylic on linen. Painted in 1998 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 152cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari "
        Jul. 19, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari "

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari " Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1999 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 182cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Malang kat Julpari"
        Jun. 28, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Malang kat Julpari"

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Malang kat Julpari" Acrylic on linen. Painted in 1998 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 152cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari"
        Jun. 28, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari"

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Tjkari" Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1999 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 182cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa"
        Jun. 28, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa"

        Est: -

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (JAPARRULA) "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa" Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1999 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 58cm x 107cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1932-2001)Fire Dreaming, 1999
        Jun. 15, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1932-2001)Fire Dreaming, 1999

        Est: $1,200 - $1,500

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (CIRCA 1932-2001) Fire Dreaming, 1999 acrylic on linen cat no. JW0990-84 inscribed verso: JW0990-84 216 x 126cm This painting is sold with Red Desert Gallery, Certificate of Authenticity

        Gibson's Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa"
        May. 31, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa"

        Est: $8,000 - $10,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Water Dreaming at Kalipimpa" Acrylic on linen. Provenance Jinta Desert Art Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 150cm x 93cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Two Snakes"
        Apr. 26, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Two Snakes"

        Est: $7,500 - $10,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA JUPURRULA "Two Snakes" Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1998 for Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 152cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARRANGKULA JUPURRULA "Tjkarry"
        Mar. 09, 2020

        JOHNNY WARRANGKULA JUPURRULA "Tjkarry"

        Est: $10,000 - $14,000

        JOHNNY WARRANGKULA JUPURRULA "Tjkarry" Acrylic on Belgium linen. Painted in 1998. Provenance: Jinta Art. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 91cm x 151cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • Johnny Warangkula TJUPURRULA (1925-2001) Aborigen
        Feb. 15, 2020

        Johnny Warangkula TJUPURRULA (1925-2001) Aborigen

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        Johnny Warangkula TJUPURRULA (c.1925-c.2001) ; Aborigen Art ; 1962 ; oil on canvas / unframed ; dimensions 75,5 x 60,5 cm (29 3/4 x 24 in.) ; signed and dated on verso ; Shipping to USA - DHL $250 , National post with tracking service $120 / Shipping to EU, Russia, Middle Assia - DHL $150 , National post with tracking service $65

        Art-Torg
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA "Men's Business"
        Jan. 27, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA "Men's Business"

        Est: $6,000 - $9,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA "Men's Business" Acrylic on linen. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 119cm x 202cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA "TJKARRI"
        Jan. 27, 2020

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA "TJKARRI"

        Est: $8,000 - $10,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA "TJKARRI" Acrylic on canvas Painted in 1998. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 92cm x 122cm

        Ozbid Auctions
      • JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (TJUPURULA) "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari"
        Dec. 22, 2019

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (TJUPURULA) "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari"

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        JOHNNY WARANGKULA TJUPURRULA (TJUPURULA) "Fire Dreaming at Tjikari" Acrylic on Linen. Painted in 1999. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity. Artwork is stretched and ready to hang. 127cm x 128cm

        Ozbid Auctions
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